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Galloping gala

Gercine Carter

Galloping gala

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Two female Barbadian artistes enjoyed exposure to an international audience when the curtain came down on record-breaking Holders Season 2013 Saturday night.
Nineteen-year-old aspiring opera singer Shantal Martin and mezzo-soprano Amanda Fields were guest performers on the gala night of the Season, attended by Prime Minister Freundel Stuart and Minister of Culture, Sports and Youth Stephen Lashley.
It was the 20th staging of the premier show in the theatre-style setting of the grounds of Holders Great House, which attracts an international audience to Barbados every year, including celebrities from the entertainment world with homes in Barbados.
On Friday night such celebrities as Sir Cliff Richard, Britain’s acclaimed pop singer, musician and actor, were spotted in the audience.
The show opened with an impressive rendition of the National Anthem of Barbados by Martin and she and Fields went on to set the stage for the line-up of visiting artistes to follow, with Amanda receiving a stirring ovation for her rendition of The Laughing Song.
The sold-out event capped seven nights of music, comedy, drama, a Tribute To Hollywood on opening night, and showcased African music, British comedy, Barbadian gospel artistes, and the London Community Choir performing best-loved international selections. Several artistes who had performed in past Holder’s Seasons were invited back to Barbados to be onstage in this anniversary presentation.
Kittitian-born British opera singer Tony Henry, a last-minute replacement, gave an entertaining performance, playing along with the audience, engaging them and evoking laughter throughout with selections from noted composers like Puccini, Donizetti and Verdi. He was accompanied by pianist Simon Mulligan.
Stringfever, described as “the world’s finest genetically modified string quartet”, brought the house down with their playing and onstage antics. Brothers Giles, Ralph, Neal and their cousin Graham took the audience on a musical journey through the years, playing hit songs from a string of top box-office movies. The patrons loved it.
Holder’s Season founder Wendy Kidd was praised by co-founder Richard Hanlon for her “devotion, enthusiasm, vision and sheer hard work” in making Holders Season the success it has become.